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Today, the Department of Labor reported that first time jobless claims not only rose faster than expected but they were 72% higher than this time last year and reached levels not seen since October, 1982.  With this news as a backdrop, it’s fortuitous that Marci Alboher, one of my favorite career experts, interviewed me in her new Working the New Economy blog on Yahoo! Shine for a post entitled "Negotiating an Alternative to a Layoff: 5 Questions for Cali Yost."

Unfortunately, some layoffs are unavoidable.  But if leaders considered flexible alternatives as part of downsizing, they would lower costs while retaining as much valuable talent as possible to work through this great recession.

As I determined which links from my blog to include in Marci's interview, I realized how much I’d written over the past year laying out the business case for flexible downsizing.  Since unemployment is a lagging indicator to a recovery, unless we change course, layoffs will likely continue at these historic levels.  To inspire creative thinking on the part of organizational leaders and to support employees who want to present flexible cost-saving options to their manager, I’ve recapped in one place all of my posts related flexible downsizing as an alternative to layoffs—I hope the information provides some fact-based ammunition to reconsider job cuts as the only and best option, because they aren't in many cases:

3/27/09 – "Fairness" of Flexible Alternatives to Layoffs

3/12/09—Getting Started with Flexible Downsizing—Manager and Employee "How-to"

3/18/09 – Health Benefit Costs—Fly in the Ointment of Flexible Alternatives to Layoffs

3/9/09 – Yes, Layoffs Cost More than Regular Turnover and Save Less than the Flexible Alternatives

3/5/09—Ready to Respond to Recovery? Another Advantage of Flexible Downsizing

3/5/09 – Managers Uphold Fiduciary Responsibility with Alternatives to Layoffs—Expanding Cost/Benefit Analysis

2/26/09 – "Downsizing Flexibility Champions"—Alternatives to Layoffs Honor Roll (Updated 4/2/09)

2/25/09 – Flexible Downsizing—A Matter of Global Stability, Not Just an Interesting "Option"

2/11/09 – Legal Considerations for Making Flexibility Part of a Downsizing Strategy as an Alternative to Layoffs

2/4/09 – It’s Not Just the Market…Other Roadblocks to Flexible Downsizing, as an Alternative to Layoffs

1/28/09 – Market Rewards Layoffs, Discourages Flexible Downsizing as an Alternative

1/22/09—Wharton’s Dr. Peter Cappelli on Flexible Downsizing

1/7/09 – Downsizing Should Have Three Stages—No Layoffs, Flexible Downsizing, THEN Layoffs—Not Two

12/23/08—I Repeat…Flexibility is More Than an Isolated Alternative to Layoffs, It’s a Broad Business Growth and Cost-Cutting Strategy

12/17/08—Make Alternatives to Layoffs Part of a Broad Work Life Flexibility Strategy

11/19/08—Work Life Flex is Even More Important in a Recession

11/20/08—Work+Life Flex in a Recession: Core Business Strategy, Not Unaffordable "Perk"

10/1/08—Revisiting Flex as an Alternative Downsizing Strategy…How You Can Prepare

8/01/08—Part-Time or No Job, What’s Worse?  Flex as an Alternative to Layoffs in Downsizing Strategy

02/01/08—Work/Life: Recession and Work+Life Fit

Announcement:  Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility is now accepting applications for an "at large" national award to honor organizations that are successfully using flexibility to meet both business and employee goals.  Deadline to apply is May 1, 2009.

"Gone Fishin’" – I’m going on vacation (yeah!) so I will see you back here on Wednesday, April 15th rested and ready to blog!